Microsoft Files Patent To Mine Cryptocurrencies With Verified Body Activity Data

Giant software manufacturer, Microsoft is seeking to capitalize on the new crypto hype. The firm is seeking to introduce its own cryptocurrency that will be mined using human energy replacing the costly mining process that is used today, Bitcoinist reports.

As per patent documents, the proposed Microsoft cryptocurrency will utilize body activity data. The company states that this will allow individuals in mining getting rid of the ASICs. The patent states that various forms of human body activities like the heat produced when a user executes different tasks online can be used in mining and be used as a proof-of-work. Microsoft explains:

“A brain wave or body heat emitted from the user when the user performs the task provided by an information or service provider, such as viewing an advertisement or using certain internet services, can be used in the mining process.”

The documents goes on to explain that body activities will help in replacing intense computation work that must be used in various crypto systems. Users will be able to solve computationally challenges unconsciously serving as proof-of-work.

As per te patent documents, various tasks will increase or reduce the computational energy in regards to the activity being generated. Use of human body activity data for mining will work via a server which will command through wearable devices. The crypto system which is linked to the user’s device will then verify if the body activity meets the set conditions of the crypto system. Crypto will then be awarded to the user.

Currently, Microsoft is yet to reveal if the new cryptocurrency will be developed on a blockchain network or the company will develop its own framework. Similarly, it is not also clear if the new crypto project will happen soon.

The innovation comes at a time when crypto mining has been on the spotlight for excessive use of energy. It is claimed that the Proof-of-Work system utilizes more energy compared to Chile. The new system will also help in dealing with e-waste problems in the crypto space.

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Author: Joseph Kibe

Coinbase Commerce Crosses $200,000,000 In Crypto Payments Since Launch

Covid-19 hasn’t kept consumers from using bitcoin (BTC) as a means of payments for goods and services according to a merchant transaction report from Coinbase Commerce.

A Coinbase Commerce report shows that on 3-26-2020, clients made bitcoin transactions that helped the company surpass a goal of $200 million in transactions since it launched the payments portal. The results come from an enormous network of eight thousand retailers that accept cryptocurrencies together with other methods of payment.

BTC Preferred Over Other Cryptocurrencies

The news is great for those who encourage the adoption of Bitcoin (BTC) and cryptocurrency altogether. The COVID-19 crisis doesn’t seem to have affected the way people use digital money. However, the situation is not the same for merchant crypto payments, as John Zettler, Coinbase Commerce product’s lead, said there hasn’t been too much activity in this area in March.

He added that money comes very often in BTC but didn’t mention the exact usage breakdown of crypto-by-crypto. People seem to prefer BTC more than other digital currencies. Here are his exact words about how customers at Commerce feel about this digital currency:

“Merchant customers often tell us it’s the crypto they’re most familiar with and the one they trust the most.”

USDC Is Also Growing

Coinbase is also witnessing an increase in stablecoin based payments, especially in its own USD coin that’s dollar-pegged, USDC. Zettler mentioned USDC is leading the growth pack and is expected to have a material growth through Q2 and Q3 of 2020. Support for USDC was added by Commerce back in May 2019.

Zettler further said that Coinbase is working to improve Commerce’s features so that merchants’ demands are being met. The service was launched for refunds and with the intention to normalize the crypto e-commerce space. At the moment, crypto is only an insignificant e-commerce method, with a $3.5 trillion sales marketplace in 2019.

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Author: Oana Ularu

Singapore Exempts Binance, Coinbase, Gemini, and Ripple From its Current PSA Crypto Act

Singapore is counted among one of the crypto hubs of the world as it offers ease of business for these crypto service providers when a majority of the countries around the globe have taken a stricter regulatory approach.

Although Singapore recently enforced crypto legislation in the form of the Payment Services Act (PSA), the country has exempted popular crypto exchanges such as Binance and Coinbase along with Ripple from the act, right from the start of the new year.

Under the PSA act, crypto service providers are supposed to obtain an operating license from the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS). However, as per an official notification released on March 24, it has been revealed that several crypto service providers have been allowed to offer specific crypto service without the need of the operating license for a limited period of time.

The exempted firms including Binance, Ripple, and Coinbase have been offered a lease of 6 months from the start of the new year. All these firms can continue offering their service until July 28, 2020. After the said period is over, these crypto firms would be required to file a license under the current PSA act.

Few Crypto Service Providers Offered One-Year Grant

While Binance, Ripple and Coinbase have been offered a lease of 6 months, there are several other crypto entities which have been offered a longer period of exemptions from the PSA. These firms include the Gemini exchange, the OKCoin exchange, PundiX, Cumberland, DRW Holdings and a subsidiary of BitGo, which have been granted a lease period of 12-month.

Both Gemini and BitGo can continue offering specific crypto services such as account issuance services, domestic money transfer services, and inward cross-border money transfer services until January 28, 2021.

The move to exempt certain crypto service providers to operate in the country without the need to get an operating license can be seen as a bullish move by the MAS to encourage crypto adoption and establish Singapore as one of the crypto capitals of the World. After the said exemptions period are over, it would be interesting to see if the Singapore regulatory bodies grant any further exemptions to other crypto service providers looking to launch their service in the country.

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Author: James W

The World Has Gone Full Crypto in 2020; Volatility is Up, Stocks Are trading like A Sh*tcoins

The global markets are on a rollercoaster for the past few weeks, one day they are recording historical one-day gains the next they are tumbling into the abyss.

Just yesterday, Wall Street Journal’s latest heading read, “A new bull market has begun. The Dow has rallied more than 20% since hitting a low three days ago, ending the shortest bear market ever.”

And this has been after the Dow Jones Industrial Jones rallied 6.4% after the $2 trillion stimulus got closer to getting the green light. The blue-chip index has been up 20% from its low, which is the textbook definition of a new bull market.

As per the Investopedia definition, “the most common definition of a bull market is a situation in which stock prices rise by 20%, usually after a drop of 20% and before a second 20% decline,” although it does mention there is no metric to identify a bull market.

This jump reportedly ended the 11-trading day bear market, marking it the “shortest in history for the Dow.”

Besides stocks, crude oil has also been plunging ever since the oil price war was started by Saudi Arabia and Russia. As Bloomberg notes, Canadian heavy crude has become so cheap its shipping cost is more than the value of the oil itself.

Every stock trading like a “sh*tcoin”

While new for the stock market, these kinds of moves aren’t anything new for the crypto market. Recently, on Black Thursday, Bitcoin dropped over 50% in a two-day period.

Now, the global stock market is experiencing such high volatility, which momentarily went past that of bitcoin. And the market is divided into those who believe that from here the market would move on to yet new highs again while the other side believes a lot more pain is to come in the light of lockdowns and possibility of a recession.

All of this has is resembling a crypto market, as economist and trader Alex Kruger said,

“In 2020 the world has gone full crypto. Full crypto you know. In crypto half the people think prices will “moon”, while the other half think it’s all a ponzi.

In the world now half the people think coronavirus is a sham, while the other half think everything will collapse.”

According to him, with volatility “up the roof,” every stock is trading like a “sh*tcoin.”

“Assets can’t be valued any longer because nobody knows anything, (…) sounds very much like crypto to me,” Kruger said.

Fed Balance Sheet Jumps to a New High

On Thursday another big and devastating news came in the form of the number of people seeking jobless benefits.

In an unprecedented surge, a total of 3.28 million has been reported by the US government to have filed for unemployment insurance in the week ended March 21st. These levels exceed those reported since 1967.

“This morning’s data leaves no doubt that the economy is currently in a recession,” said Matthew Luzzetti, chief U.S. economist at Deutsche Bank AG.

In April, this unemployment rate is expected to touch 5.5% but won’t be the peak. The US meanwhile is awaiting a $2 trillion stimulus package for approval to boost the benefits for those who got laid off.

Besides providing for the unemployed, a huge chunk of money is being used to bailout institutions. The Federal Reserve has long been injecting liquidity into the financial markets and recently announced unlimited QE.

This has the Fed balance sheet jumping to a new high of $5.254 trillion, with the largest ever weekly increase of $586 billion made last week.

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Author: AnTy

South Korea May Get A New Crypto Custodian After Largest Bank Files Trademark App

KB Kookmin Bank, the largest bank in South Korea, is preparing to launch its cryptocurrency custody service as soon as possible.

As per the local news outlet Digital Today reported on March 27, KB Kookmin Bank filed a KBDAC trademark application in which it referred to the Digital Asset Custody subsidiary it proposed in January, this year.

BTC and ETH Mentioned

The bank’s application to the Korean Intellectual Property Office expresses its intention of trademarking KBDAC in more than 20 areas that are all related to the crypto industry. These areas include consultation, management and trading of digital assets such as Bitcoin (BTC) and Ether (ETH). It also mentioned virtual asset settlement, consignment and fiat currency transactions.

Since many crypto areas have been mentioned, speculations that the bank is planning to launch a subsidiary offering financial products and services for receiving and managing investment funds’ virtual assets started to appear. A thread link to all these services is provided by the Digital Assets Custody moniker. According to the bank’s previous trademark applications, the new subsidiary may be launched in H1 of 2020.

There’s Also the Partnership with Atomrigs

KB Kookmin Bank partnered up last June with Atomrigs Labs, in order to explore digital asset protection and management solutions. The bank has always been proactive when it comes to blockchain technology. It made last October a statement in which it talked about the benefits this tech could bring to the industry of financial services.

Furthermore, it said that it plans to integrate blockchain into all its internal processes. In the meantime, 40 banks from Germany are seeking the approval of the Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin) to offer BTC custody, after the country introduced a new regulatory law for crypto.

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Author: Oana Ularu

Former CFTC Chairman Giancarlo’s Digital Dollar Project Adds 22 Members to Advisory Board

Digital Dollar Foundation, an outfit that is pushing for the creation of a digital dollar in the US, has now announced its board of advisors. The foundation is led by ex-CFTC executives Chris Giancarlo (aka Crypto Dad) as well as Daniel Gorfine who has also roped in Accenture.

According to a press release, the new board of advisors was unveiled on Thursday and consists of 24 people who will work together towards the development of a US CBDC.

The advisory board brings together experts with broad backgrounds in both the finance industry as well as payment technologies. Some of the members include exCFTC commissioner Sharon Bowen, Usman Ahmed who is PayPal’s policy official, fintech law professor Chris Brummer, Sheila Warren who is the head of blockchain efforts in the World Economic Forum (WEF), as well as DRW’s CEO Don Wilson. As well as the former Treasury Undersecretary in charge of Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, Sigal Mandelkar and former President Trump’s adviser Tim Morrison.

The Digital Dollar Foundation looks forward to advocating for research as well as discussion on the possible benefits that comes with the use of a US CBDC. The new board will explore how a digital dollar will operate as well as scale. The group will also explore if a digital dollar can be utilized in private transactions.

Giancarlo explained that the board consists of individuals from different sectors who are experts in monetary policy, commercial and central banking, privacy law, KYC/AML, economics, tax and other relevant disciplines that are crucial in the exploration of how a digital dollar will be used and its impact on the US and the global economy. Giancarlo explained:

“The insights and expertise of the new advisory group members will be invaluable as we work together to help make the dollar a more effective and smarter currency in an increasingly digital global economy.”

The developments come as legislators are haggling on how a digital dollar which is non-crypto can help in the distribution of funds to US citizens at a time when the world is fighting the Corona pandemic.

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Author: Joseph Kibe

European Commission to Offer Grants for Creating Digital Twins Using Blockchain for Defense

Blockchain developers and specialists are being given grants by the European Commission (EC) so that they adapt civil tech to defense applications.

The European Defense Industrial Development was published by the EC on March 24. It calls on small to medium enterprises (SMEs) to come with solutions in the defense sector using new technologies that are quick to deploy and are cost-effective.

How To Be Considered For The Blockchain Grants?

The EC has provided an outline that offers guidance for the program, which may benefit from the 254 million Euros budgeted in 2019-2020 that were designated for grants to successful projects. The proposals should fall within these guidelines:

“Based on real-time cloud and on-premise digital twin benefiting from blockchain technologies’ robustness, able to channel all currently optimized logistics needs, such as chain of spare parts, maintenance, energy consumables.”

What Is a Digital Twin?

Digital twins are virtual representations or mirrors of physical entities, assets, and processes such as human beings, pieces of infrastructure, machines or objects. The blockchain is capable of strengthening the digital twins’ integrity because it allows tamper-proof cryptographic tags for validating provenance, ownership, and states of either objects or products, to be used.

What Can a Blockchain – Digital Twins Combination Offer?

The 2018 Deloitte report says the combination between blockchain and digital twins can bring benefits for the internet of things (IoT) sector and other applications that are very useful for production environments’ predictive maintenance.

According to Deloitte, blockchain is efficient at offering secure identity management and transparency in data analytics and ownership models. The EC admits that combining blockchain and digital twins is efficient in the energy, supply chains, and equipment maintenance sectors for defense. The submissions for the program will take place between April 15 and December 1, 2020, according to how the COVID-10 pandemic dictates.

Blockchain and Defense

As it has been reported of late, BAE Systems, the US-based contractor providing defense service solutions and support together with civilian systems and intelligence, has a cryptocurrency exploiter open position for supporting operations. Back in July last year, the US Department of Defense also released its blockchain technology plan for digital modernization.

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Author: Oana Ularu

Cardano’s Hoskinson Warns About The Unfair Representation on Wikipedia From An Editor

Charles Hoskinson, the founder of 14the largest cryptocurrency by market cap, that has lost 98% of its value since its ATH in January 2018, took to YouTube to complain about getting a fair representation on Wikipedia.

In his video, he talks about the community members having issues with editing the proof-of-stake (PoS) articles on the online encyclopedia. Hoskinson said,

“Cardano, in particular, has been having a tremendously difficult time getting a fair representation on Wikipedia. Anything we do whether it be Plutus, the extended UT XL model, Oroboros – the Cardano project itself or people affiliated with the project there is broad-scale commercial censorship occurring by the editors at Wikipedia.”

Currently, the Wikipedia page says, “The article Proof of stake, along with other articles relating to blockchains and cryptocurrencies, is currently subject to active community-authorized general sanctions.”

“Existential danger to an industry”

Hoskinson, who also co-founded the second largest network Ethereum, said it is just another example of “existential danger to an industry,” which is “controlled by a few people who are “incredibly biased” and “not accountable to anyone else.”

He has been referring here to David Gerard specifically whose anti-crypto behavior Hoskinson said is “going on for years,” since the Ethereum days.

Hoskinson might be the latest one to complain about the “non-coiner” but not the only one, as in the past Decred had a similar issue.

Hoskinson says it’s unfair when they have been mentioned by the US Congress, as the “most cited of all the peer views,” and “historically have had a market cap larger than SpaceX.”

Just warning about “ridiculous steaming shitpile”

While replying to a Twitter user, Hoskinson argues that Cardano’s competitors that are much smaller in size, have pages while they are not allowed to have is “censorship.”

He further said Wikipedia “won’t explain the standard,” but Gerard refuted these claims by saying, “The problem is not that nobody told you, it’s that you didn’t like the answer.”

“These are comments directly from a Wikipedia editor commercially censoring us. He also wrote an anti-crypto book. But I’m sure he’s being fair and balanced about Cardano content,” pointed out Hoskinson on Gerard’s comment that “the (crypto) space would best be advanced by not existing,” and as such he is “warning others about the ridiculous steaming shitpile.”

Meanwhile, Wikipedia highlights that individuals with a conflict of interest are “strongly advised not to directly edit the article.”

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Author: AnTy

Block.One Injects $150M Into Voice Social Media Platform to Fund Independent Operations

EOS blockchain protocol publisher that ran a $4 Billion ICO, Block.one, is injecting $150 million to enhance independent operations of its Voice social media platform that was introduced in June 2019.

According to a press statement released on Thursday, the money will be used to kick off Voice’s independent operations away from its parent company, Block.one. Voice has already started the process of independent operations as it hired Salah Zelatimo as the CEO in January who previously worked as the global digital head in Forbes. Following Zelatimo’s hiring, a public beta was launched last month.

According to the press release, Selah will lead the initiative to establish Voice as a separate enterprise and the $150 million will be used in the expansion of operations and building up of the firm’s workforce. Block.One had already spent roughly $150M last year getting the platform ready to go live. This doesn’t include the $30M they spent buying Voice.com.

Voice debuted in summer last year and at that time, it was hyped as the social media platform which gets rid of bots. During the launching time, it was touted as the social media network where real people rather than bots will post as well as share content in order to be rewarded with tokens.

The app aims at enhancing authenticity in the social media space which has been elusive in the recent past. Users will have to produce their identity details for verification. After verification, users will then be awarded Voice tokens every day which they then use to push certain posts. Users can also win extra tokens when they create original content on the platform.

Zalatimo stated that Voice is set to be a true content marketplace and the user will be in total control of the content which will be promoted. Members will also not be afraid of being wrong as the community can hold each other accountable. Zalatimo said:

“By designing a platform where every user has gone through Know Your Customer (KYC) verification and real identities are attached to the original content being shared, we are empowering users to hold each other accountable.”

Through the use of tokens, Voice aims at enhancing transparency in the content promotion process.

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Author: Joseph Kibe

Ripple Donates $200k to COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund; Crypto Companies Stepping Up

The San Francisco-based Ripple is the latest company to make donations to the novel coronavirus response fund.

The company took to Twitter to share that they had donated $100k donations each to the COVID response fund by Silicon Valley Community Foundation and Tipping Point Community.

“In these challenging times, Ripple is committed to being part of the global response to the COVID-19 pandemic. We’re starting in our own backyard with $100K donations each to @tippingpoint’s COVID emergency response fund and @siliconvalleycf’s COVID Regional Response Fund,” tweeted Ripple.

Binance to Donate Millions to Worst Affected Countries

Ripple is not the first company in the crypto space to do so. A few days ago, Binance Charity, the donation arm of leading crypto exchange Binance announced a project titled ‘Crypto Against COVID’ through which it is looking to raise $5 million in cryptos (BTC, BNB, XRP, and BUSD).

Binance will make an initial donation of $1 million USD and further commits to donating up to $2 million and match $1 million USD of public donations received. The funds will be used to buy medical supplies for the countries worst affected by the virus.

“The crypto community is a growing force and we have an opportunity to strengthen this through philanthropy. We encourage the community to take part in this initiative as we unite against COVID-19, and together, we’ll drive impact,” said Binance founder and CEO Changpeng Zhao.

In January, Binance also launched “Binance for Wuhan” and donated about $1.4 million worth of medical supplies to support China in its battle against the COVID-19.

Tron Foundation also sent shipments of medical supplies to China earlier this year.

Emergency Funds to Help Startups

A few days ago, the Giving Block crypto charity was also launched where donations were made in cryptocurrency to non-profit partners.

“Today, donating cryptocurrency is not just a way to lower our taxes. It is our chance to protect the people we love, all while telling the new crypto story,” said Alex Wilson, CEO of The Giving Block.

An emergency fund by CNBC’s CryptoTrader host Ran NeuNer in collaboration with Yossi Hasson of Techstars has also been created to help the startups affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. The fund has raised $10 million so far.

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Author: AnTy